While reading Robert Caro’s latest book on LBJ – and really JFK – many stories come to mind.
In the last post, I discussed the revelation from Gary Mack, Curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas and the revelation about the conspiracy theories sprung from the assassination.
At Real TV, around 1997, we were pitched a never-seen-before video of the Kennedy assassination from another angle showing a second shooter.
This information came to me from other senior staff involved in the negotiations. No one gave me names, but I was kept abreast of the talks since I would have been the face presenting what could have been one of the most explosive videos of the 20th Century.
Here’s what was presented to us.
A lawyer was representing the person who owned and shot the video. The owner was apparently dying at the time, so releasing the video and its apparent repercussions were no longer an issue for this person.
The lawyer wanted $100,000 for the exclusive rights to the video. Here was the catch: we had to buy it sight unseen.
From what I was told, the lawyer was legitimate as far as his record went.
There was discussion among Real TV (and Paramount Domestic TV, our distributor) about paying the $100,000 and taking the two risks.
The first risk was there was no video or the quality was so bad nothing could be gleaned.
The second risk was the video existed, but it wasn’t authentic.
The first risk we could not overcome.
The second risk we could turn into a TV story and let the audience help us decide the authenticity. That was the beauty of being a reality/entertainment show. We weren’t a news show. We would have told the story about someone approaching us to sell us a piece of video that we couldn’t verify: not real news, but Real TV.
Fortunately, neither happened.
Real TV would only proceed with the deal if the video was revealed. In hindsight, it was a good move. The lawyer was probably a fraud who had protected himself legally to keep the money.
And to this day, no other piece of video, outside the Zapruder film, has ever surfaced to clarify the Kennedy assassination.
A little bit more on Real TV, the pioneering reality show I hosted. The stories we couldn’t tell and the videos we couldn’t show were even more interesting, exciting, and compelling.